Tuesday, February 3, 2015

20mm Sharp Practice, part 1 - The French

I thought I'd have a go at laying out the troops I've gradually amassed to play Sharp Practice in 20mm scale.  Sharp Practice is quite a large skirmish game and to get the best out of it you need several tens of suitable figures.

My aim has been to build up forces primarily aimed at actions set during the Peninsular War.  The French are from a mixture of manufacturers - Airfix, HaT, Zvezda, Revell and Italeri.  A far cry from my early days in wargaming when there was only Airfix in this scale!

The fusiliers are by Italeri.  I have 40 plus a couple of dismounted leaders.  There's also a mounted officer from the excellent box set Napoleonic Mounted Line Officers 1813/15 by the confusingly named company Waterloo 1815.

At the right hand end of the line is a group of ten grenadiers.  These are old Airfix Imperial Guard types I've hid lying around since I was a kid.  I'm pretty sure the uniforms are wrong for line grenadiers but I'm so far from button counting in this project.

Up front, there's a swarm (well a small swarm) of voltigeurs.  These guys are obviously from a light infantry regiment (blue breeches) and are rather over-dressed with their full plumes.  They do look pretty though so I'll keep using them.  They represent about a third of a box from Zvezda.  One day I'll get around to painting and basing the rest.

At present, my mounted element is limited to these Revell dragoons.  About half a box this time.  There'll be more if I can ever motivate myself to paint them.  I hate painting horses.

Some plastics manufacturer does a box containing some dismounted dragoons.  I keep my eye out at shows but haven't found one yet.

Finally for the French, we have one of M. Larrey's ambulances.  In the provision of vehicles to remove wounded troops form the field, the French were better served than any other nation in the wars.  This one comes from a set of two manufactured by HaT.

All in all I'm pleased with these.  Being 20mm they can use the terrain pieces I already have for more modern games.  I've also been less tempted to make each one an individual masterpiece, which in 28mm would have slowed things considerably.


Sun of York said...

Looking good. The Airfix Old Guard have come up very well. I was always disappointed in that set as the never stuck me a beefy enough (an odd thing to say about French guard I know, but they were rather fine).

The dragoons look realty good.

I'm now basing all my 1/72nd scale figures as singles.

Counterpane said...

Thanks, SoY!

Chris said...

This is so late it's preposterous, but using Guard grenadiers for line grenadiers is fine through 1812; that year the new uniform regs came out which specified that line grenadiers were supposed to wear a shako with red plume, etc.. Prior to 1812, line grenadiers wore bearskins whenever possible (and many did after 1812, too, if they could avoid turning them in). In Spain, converged grenadier battalions were sometimes formed by stripping companies away from their battalions. On occasion this had the pleasant bonus of intimidating enemy troops, who thought they were facing the Guard!

It's definitely rare to see the Strelets' French Foot Dragoons set; I get around it by swapping infantry shako-heads for mounted dragoon-heads. Kind of a pain, though.

Best regards,

Chris Johnson